5 Simple Steps to Help You Fall Asleep Quickly: A Guide to Going to Sleep Fast
Establish a Bedtime Routine
Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can be an effective way to help you go to sleep fast. Going through the same series of steps each night can help to cue your body and your mind to relax, and make it easier to fall asleep faster. Creating a relaxing, calming nighttime routine can put your body into sleep mode, ensuring a more restful sleep.
Some steps to consider for your nighttime routine include:
- Turning off all screens at least an hour before bedtime.
- Taking a warm bath or shower.
- Doing some light stretching.
- Reading a book.
- Listening to calming music.
- Writing in a journal.
Wind down before bed
It’s important to create a relaxing evening routine to help set a positive atmosphere for bedtime and make it easier to fall asleep quickly. A regular evening routine can also help both adults and children fall asleep faster, spend more time in deep sleep and awake more alert the next morning.
Wind down before bed by preparing your environment for sleep in advance: gradually dim the lights an hour or two before bedtime, avoid blue LED light from electronic devices like cell phones and turn off the television.
Taking a warm bath an hour or so before you go to bed has been show to promote better sleep. Make sure not to get too relaxed as this will make it hard for you to wake up when it is time, but rather just enjoy calming effects of the hot water and allow yourself some relaxation before bed.
Drinking a cup of herbal tea or warm milk can also help relax your body and mind before you settle into sleep. Avoid sugary snacks as these tend make people much more alert shortly after falling asleep which can interfere with getting quality sleep during the night.
Find activities that are calming for you;
- reading a book,
- writing in a journal
- or doing simple stretching exercises
are all excellent ways of winding down each day and making it easier to drift off into sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.
Take a hot shower or bath
Taking a hot shower or bath before bed can help you relax, reduce stress, and prepare your body for sleep. A hot shower or bath helps your body temperature naturally cool off, which in turn can improve the quality of your sleep. The combination of the warm environment and lulling sound of running water can also be calming and soothing – perfect for winding down from a busy day.
Furthermore, studies suggest that hot baths are beneficial in reducing mild to moderate pain symptoms, likely due to the effect of heat on the affected areas. This can be especially helpful before sleep if you suffer from chronic pain and experience difficulty falling asleep; some evidence suggests that taking a hot bath 90-120 minutes before going to bed may even boost feelings of fatigue and help you fall asleep faster. So if you’re looking to establish a better bedtime routine, adding in a relaxing soak could certainly help.
Avoid screens before bed
One of the most important steps in developing a successful bedtime routine is avoiding screens right before as well as during sleep. Screens, including phones, televisions, laptops, and tablets emit blue light which inhibits the production of melatonin – a hormone required for proper sleep. Therefore, it’s important to avoid the use of any screens starting two hours before you go to bed or even earlier if possible.
Additionally, screens provide an immense distraction and may prevent you from entering a relaxed state which is necessary for quality sleep. Instead make sure to disconnect from work and other digital devices and wind down with some sort of calming activity such as reading or listening to relaxing music in order to enter sleep more easily.
Read a book or listen to calming music
Reading a book or listening to calming music before bed can help you establish a healthy bedtime routine.
Reading is one of the most common and beneficial things to do before bed. Research has found that choosing light fiction or non-fiction before bed increases the speed and quality of sleep. Additionally, reading allows you to disconnect from your day and find relaxation in a good book.
Listening to calming music can also help establish a bedtime routine and get you in the right mindset for sleeping. Music can provide relaxation, reduce stress, and promote deep sleep patterns so that you rest more soundly without disturbances throughout the night. Listening to soothing sounds like classical music or nature-themed recordings can be especially helpful in winding down at night.
Establishing a healthy nighttime reading or listening routine is an important part of getting quality sleep on a regular basis. When it comes time to turn off your electronics, close your eyes, and lie down in bed, having something comfortable and familiar will make it easier for you to drift off into dreamland!
Exercise and Diet
Your diet and exercise routine can be very important when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Eating nutritious food and getting your body moving has been linked to better sleep quality and duration.
Exercise can regulate hormones and improve the quality of your sleep, while a balanced diet can provide essential nutrients and promote good sleep habits.
Let’s look at how exercise and diet can help you get better sleep:
Exercise has many benefits, not least of which is helping you to fall asleep faster. Regular physical activity helps to reduce stress levels, which in turn can reduce the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep. It also contributes to a healthier body weight, which can make sleeping more comfortable. Studies have shown that exercising for 30 minutes three times a week can lead to deeper and more restful sleep.
The type of exercise is not important – walking, jogging, biking, swimming and weight-training are all good options – as long as it feels good and is sustainable. It’s best to avoid:
- Vigorous exercise too close to bedtime
- Completing an intense workout within four hours of bedtime as this may interfere with your sleep patterns.
Eat a healthy diet
A well-balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health and getting a restful sleep. Eating nutritious and well-rounded meals that include a variety of foods from each food group is essential to staying energized throughout the day. Eating regular meals and ensuring adequate intake of essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and protein helps to both fuel the body with the energy it needs and promote good night-time sleep.
Some tips for creating a healthy diet include:
- Eating at least three meals each day with adequate servings of fruits, vegetables, grains (whole grains are best), healthy fats/oils/nuts, legumes, lean proteins, and dairy products.
- Including breakfast as part of your morning routine – skipping breakfast can lead to reduced energy levels throughout the day which may make it difficult to fall asleep at night.
- Limiting processed foods such as chips or candy; eating too much of these types of foods can lead to spikes in blood sugar which can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep during the night.
- Avoiding caffeine late in the day – caffeine stays in your system for several hours after consumption which can interfere with your ability to fall asleep quickly when it’s time for bed.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine
Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine are all substances that can interfere with falling and staying asleep. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, soda, and some types of chocolate. It can make sleep harder to achieve by increasing alertness and energy levels.
Alcohol is a depressant which may help people to fall asleep faster but can also interfere with their ability to stay asleep throughout the night. Nicotine is another stimulant that affects the body’s ability to relax during sleep.
To ensure a restful night of sleep, it’s important to avoid these three substances after dinner or at least eight hours before bedtime. This will help maintain good sleep hygiene practices and allow your body plenty of time to promote healthy sleep cycles.
Create a Relaxing Sleeping Environment
Creating the ideal sleeping environment is key to falling asleep faster and having a good night’s rest. To do this, it is important to ensure that your bedroom is quiet and dark, and that the room temperature is not too hot or too cold. Having comfortable bedding and pillows can also help create the perfect environment for a good night’s sleep.
Let’s look at some other tips and techniques for creating the best sleeping environment:
Keep your bedroom dark and cool
Your bedroom should be a safe and calming place that helps promote healthy, quality sleep. To achieve this, it is important to keep your bedroom dark and cool.
Darkness helps initiate sleep since it triggers melatonin production which is associated with the regulation of our internal clocks and signals us to start getting ready for bed. Heavy curtains or blackout shades can be helpful in blocking out light if needed. It’s also important to make sure your electronics (TVs, clocks, phones) are not too bright at night time as they can cause disruption when you are trying to sleep.
Cool temperatures help aid in the body’s natural cooling process that happens during sleep which helps form deeper more restful sleep. Keeping your bedroom cooler – between 60–67 degrees Fahrenheit – is a great way to do this. Using lighter bedding and swapping out heavier blankets for a light sheet or comforter may also be helpful in feeling more comfortable throughout the night.
Use comfortable bedding
Creating a comfortable bedding environment can help make sleeping more relaxing. It’s important to find sheets, blankets and pillows that are soft and breathable. Natural fabrics like cotton and bamboo are great for promoting airflow, keeping you cooler at night.
Additionally using temperature regulating duvets can help ensure the right temperature is maintained throughout the night. On top of that, adding blankets made from natural fibers like cotton or wool can make beds even softer and comfier.
Taking the time to find soothing colors, pillows that feel perfect for you and fabric you love will all make your bedding even more inviting so it’s easier to get into a relaxed state before sleep.
Block out noise with ear plugs
When trying to fall asleep, one of the most important things to remember is to block noise from entering your ears. Noise can inhibit our ability to sleep and disturb it if a loud sound suddenly awakens us.
To ensure you get a deep, uninterrupted sleep, consider using ear plugs which effectively help in muffling outside sound and reduce their noise levels. Ear plugs typically come in cushioned foam which also provide protection from external noise while being comfortable enough to wear as you sleep. Soft silicone is also an option for those with sensitive ears, providing similar noise cancellation properties with added comfortability. You may also want find custom-molded headphone-style earplugs made specifically for sleeping if you have difficulty keeping the plugs in place or need additional noise reduction due to extremely loud disturbances.
Blocking out external sound can make all the difference in having a relaxed night’s rest and waking up feeling well-rested and energized.
Sleep can be a difficult thing to come by, especially in times of stress or anxiety. One of the most effective ways to go to sleep fast is to practice various forms of relaxation techniques. By engaging in activities that help to relax the mind and body, you can quickly drift off to sleep and get the restful night’s sleep you deserve.
Let’s explore a few relaxation techniques that can help you get to sleep fast:
Practice deep breathing exercises
Deep breathing exercises, also known as abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing, can be a simple and effective way to reduce stress and promote relaxation. This type of breathing engages the body’s natural relaxation response, activating the parasympathetic nervous system. When done correctly, you may even feel a sense of calm within minutes!
The technique is simple: take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your abdomen with oxygen. Allow your chest to rise slightly then exhale slowly through your mouth. As you exhale, draw your belly button inward toward the centre of your stomach. Follow the same pattern several times until you begin to feel more relaxed. You may want to set a timer while you practice so that you can focus on slow and steady breaths without worrying about losing track of time.
In addition to its stress-reducing outcome, deep breathing has many other physical and mental benefits. Doing these exercises can help:
- strengthen your respiratory muscles and combat sleep apnea – a sleeping disorder which can be related to fatigue during the day due to poor night’s rest.
- Practicing diaphragmatic breathing will also improve oxygen delivery throughout your body which promotes greater energy levels and contributes to feelings of wellbeing throughout the day.
Try progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a technique that helps you reduce physical tension and relax your body. This technique involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in the body sequentially. By rhythmically releasing tension and stress throughout the body, you can promote a serene feeling of relaxation.
First, find a comfortable position while lying down or sitting up with your arms uncrossed. Clench each muscle group, starting from the tips of your toes and moving up towards your face for several seconds before relaxing it. Starting from the toes can help to bring attention to this area, as it is often forgotten or neglected when focusing on stress relief techniques. You may want to take a few deep breaths after tensing each muscle group before fully releasing it into relaxation. Move slowly through each area, noticing any subtle sensations as you release tension from the muscles. After completing this exercise with all of the major muscle groups in your body, allow yourself to be still for at least 10 minutes for full relaxation benefits.
You may also want to include some breathing exercises during PMR to further relax your body and mind. Deep breathing techniques have been proven to help lower stress levels by increasing circulation and oxygen intake in the body while decreasing heart rate and blood pressure. Additionally, deep breathing brings calming energy into our environment which promotes feelings of peace and tranquility – ideal conditions for an effective PMR session!
Visualize a peaceful scene
The concept of visualizing a peaceful, calming scene is based on the fact that your subconscious cannot distinguish between a mental visualization and physical reality. When you imagine a relaxing scene, your body responds as though you’re actually in that place, releasing hormones like melatonin that can help to relax you and lull you off to sleep.
To create the perfect visualization for yourself, start by closing your eyes and taking several slow deep breaths. Then allow yourself to sink further into relaxation with each exhale. Clear your mind and focus on a scene of peace and serenity such as lying on a beach under the sun or floating in a boat in a calm lake. Imagine the sun’s warm glow brightening your face or the cool breeze rustling through your hair and blowing across your skin. Notice everything around, from the sound of waves lapping against the shore to birds singing their sweet melodies above you.
Shift into all five senses – sight, smell, sound, touch, taste – to increase relaxation even more by imagining what it would feel like to be there – how does the sand feel beneath you? What does this perfect setting sounds like? Slowly open or close various parts of your body – fingers then toes – so that all muscles go limp with relaxation until eventually settled into complete restfulness and ready for sleep.
See a Doctor
If you’re having trouble going to sleep, the first thing you should do is see a doctor. A doctor can help you identify any underlying health issues that might be interfering with your sleep. They may also recommend medications or treatments to help you get the rest you need.
Additionally, they can provide lifestyle advice and make sure that you are staying healthy and getting the proper amount of rest.
Talk to a doctor if you have trouble sleeping
If you have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early, talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor can help determine any underlying medical condition that may be causing your sleeplessness, such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.
Your doctor can also check to see if underlying mental health issues such as anxiety or depression might be contributing to the problem.
Your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist who can measure and evaluate the quality and quantity of your sleep over an extended period of time. After examining your overall health profile, the specialist may recommend a specific course of treatment, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia, medications that help you sleep better, or lifestyle changes that have been proven effective in improving sleep quality.
Ask about medications or supplements to help you sleep
If the changes you have made in your lifestyle and habits do not help you get a good night’s sleep, talking to your doctor about medications and other supplement options may be an option for you.
Prescription Medication: Insomnia is often treated with prescription medications such as:
- Zolpidem (Ambien): This sedative hypnotic drug helps people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It works by calming the brain and nerves.
- Eszopiclone (Lunesta): This medication helps people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It works by calming the brain and nerves.
- Ramelteon (Rozerem): This medication helps people fall asleep faster by targeting melatonin receptors in the brain.
Over-the-Counter Supplements: Some individuals may find that over-the-counter supplements are beneficial to their sleep health, although it is important to discuss potential side effects with a doctor or pharmacist before taking any of these products, as interactions with other medications could be potentially dangerous. Common over-the-counter supplements used to improve sleep include:
- Valerian Root
- Passionflower extract
- Lavender oil
- Chamomile tea
- 5-HTP (5 hydroxytryptophan)
Food or drink items containing tryptophan or magnesium can also help promote better sleep in certain individuals.